Obama admin: Cap-and-trade will cost families $1761 per year

posted at 2:20 pm on September 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Supporters of the administration’s plans for cap-and-trade have argued that the costs would be minimal for American households, as low as $175 per household per year, as the White House proclaimed an incomplete analysis from the CBO.  A new study shows that the actual costs per household are ten times that number, almost $150 per month, once cap-and-trade gets implemented.  What right-wing organization created that analysis?

The Treasury Department:

The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration’s estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

A second memorandum, which was prepared for Obama’s transition team after the November election, says this about climate change policies: “Economic costs will likely be on the order of 1 percent of GDP, making them equal in scale to all existing environmental regulation.”

The documents (PDF) were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute and released on Tuesday.

The Obama administration used arguments that they knew weren’t accurate in order to push this legislation through the House.  Obama himself made these arguments, while analysts in the government had already shown them to be false.  In other words, Obama lied, and so did his administration and allies in Congress.

And they didn’t just lie on the costs to American households for energy-production disincentives.  The total cost to the economy would be 1% of GDP, or about the same amount the economy contracted in the second quarter of this year, extended for the foreseeable future.  That amounts, in 2009, to $120 billion dollars taken right off the top of the American economy, with the loss of jobs and productivity that entails.

This isn’t a plan for growth through a “green economy.”  It’s a recipe for economic disaster, misery, high unemployment, backbreaking taxes, and further government dependency.  It’s actually worse than the Heritage Foundation predicted in its own analysis.  No wonder Obama and his administration has lied about it and kept the analyses hidden.


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